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IN PROGRESS: A quick rundown of Slow Food Monterey Bay Events so far this year.
We started our year in February with a Dim Sum Brunch for Chinese New Year. Members Annie & Jerry Manes had suggested we celebrate the holiday, and their original idea was a restaurant. Unfortunately, most Chinese restaurants aren't as careful as we would like about sourcing their ingredients, so we decided to prepare the dishes ourselves. Everyone attending brought something, and we made ourselves quite a feast.
In March we celebrated the heritage of more recent immigrants to our region with a Persian New Year Feast. Called Nouruz or Nowruz, the Persian New year is observed at the Spring Equinox. We prepared traditional dishes including Nan-o panir-o sabzi khordan, Ash-e-reshteh (bean & noodle soup), Kukuye Sabzi (herbed frittata), Sabzi Polo (herbed rice), and sustainably-farmed sturgeon. An array of seven special sweets is the traditional dessert, and we managed almond cookies, chickpea cookies, cardamon rice cookies & walnut cookies.
In April we held our first book discussion, led by Allan. He chose to start with 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' by Michael Pollan. Many of us have read this, and it raises enough debatable points to lead to an interesting discussion. Along with our discussion we enjoyed a supper of soup(s). As April 20 was the first day of Passover, Roxanne brought Matzo Ball Soup & chopped liver with matzo bread. Lindy made apple & cheddar soup and we also had a farmers' market green salad, challah--and I'm sure I've forgotten something!
In May, we held our annual fundraiser for the Freedom School Garden program. This year it was a Garden Tea Party, and we put on a substantial spread of teacakes, cookies, scones and jam, strawberries and cream, and tea sandwiches. As always, Roxanne was a huge part of putting this event together. She works with the students on the cooking part of the program. Unfortunately Greg Muck, who has been the teacher of the garden program, has been involuntarily transferred to another school in the district. We're waiting to find out what happens next.
June marked our first Cherry Dinner, held at the Gilroy home of our new co-leader Christy and featuring cherries in every course. We began with cheeses, chicken liver pate, tarragon-pickled cherries and bread (baked by Christy). Our main course included grilled ling cod from the Monterey Bay and pastured organic chicken from Hain Ranch in Tres Pinos, accompanied by cherry salsa, braised vegetables with cherries, almond biscuits with cherry butter, green salad with cherries, and fennel and cherry salad. Desserts included cherry gelato, home made cheese & cherry tart, cherry pate de fruit, and cherry liqueur. All wines for this dinner were from wineries in the Gilroy area.
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